Why Brands Should Publish Content On LinkedIn

Why Brands Should Use LinkedIn

Why Brands Should Use LinkedInYou already write blog posts, manage your social media feeds and create email campaigns, but should brands add publishing content to LinkedIn to the to-do list?

LinkedIn rolled out a new blog-like publishing feature in February. Brands can create and publish content on their company pages and share it with their industry-specific audiences. Similar to other social media platforms, readers can “Like” the content and leave comments. Plus, the posts are archived on your company page and accessible at any time.

Gary Frisch, founder of Swordfish Communications, has embraced the new tool and says he can’t think of any downside to publishing on LinkedIn.

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Manage Social Media Posts With Hootsuite To Reclaim Wasted Time

Hootsuite Streams

Save Time With HootsuiteHow many social media platforms does your brand use? If you’re using more than one, it might be worth your time to employ a social media management tool. There are several to choose from including HootsuiteTweetDeck and Sprout Social.

What’s so great about a social media management site? The biggest benefit is that you can access, monitor, post, schedule and track all of your posts and platforms from one central location. That’s right; you don’t have to log into a bazillion sites, post to each one and read metrics on a variety of dashboards.

For Matthew Iscoe, the marketing manager for Thriving Firm, a company that helps accountants create a sound practice, Hootsuite is the way to untangle his social media mayhem.

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What subscriptions do freelancers actually pay for?

Premium Memberships for Freelancers

Premium Memberships for FreelancersWhen it comes to business-related subscription services, freelance journalists occupy a sort of purgatory: their needs are greater than that of typical individuals who have little reason to splurge on subscription software and databases but they’re not flush like large corporations with money to burn.
Yes, freelancers can deduct many of these expenses for tax purposes but they’re still paying the upfront cost and saving only part of that cost come tax time. (Just ask this freelancer, who upon tallying up her 2012 business expenses discovered she’d paid for a few subscriptions that she never actually used. An expensive oversight, albeit a tax-deductible one.)

Ebyline talked to several accomplished freelancers to find out what premium subscriptions they pay for and even uncovered a few they can get for free. We winnowed the list down to the most popular, weighed the pros and cons, and have even included tips on how to get them for less than retail.

Mediabistro.com

Mediabistro offers two separate subscriptions. AvantGuild ($59 for one year or $89 for two) provides access to premium content like How to Pitch articles and discounts on classes and media-related products. AvantGuild members also get a discount on the Freelance Marketplace, which is Mediabistro’s other paid subscription service allowing freelancers to set up an online profile that’s searchable by prospective clients (regularly $145 per year or $119 per year for AvantGuild members).

New York-based writer and journalism professor Katie Gilbert has both subscriptions. Gilbert doesn’t have a website but she does have a Freelance Marketplace profile set up last fall. So far, she’s gotten inquiries from two potential clients—one for writing instructional manuals and the other for copywriting on-site at an advertising agency. Of the latter, she says, “they liked that I had a finance background and I had experience writing for kids’ magazines.” Gilbert ultimately decided that neither gig was right for her at the time, but she adds that, “I’m now heartened that the profile is worth it.”

How to get it cheaper: If Mediabistro hosts parties in your city, you can volunteer at parties to earn credits towards classes and other offerings. An AvantGuild subscription also includes a year’s subscription to The Atlantic, Wired, New York or W, so if you live in the U.S. and choose to cancel your magazine subscription, you can get refunded $10 of the $59 you paid for a year of AvantGuild.

Hootsuite.com

There are a ton of online tools, both free and paid, that allow social media users to manage multiple accounts, schedule status updates and generate reports. Hootsuite is one of the most popular, both with individual users but also big brands such as Virgin, McDonalds and Sony Music since it offers features that let marketing teams within a company work together to manage a social media strategy.

Austin, Tex.-based freelance writer and editor Natalia Sylvester, who manages several clients’ social media presences in addition to her own, has been using Hootsuite for almost three years. She pays $20.99 a month for Hootsuite’s pro account plus team features. “If I were just tweeting through my personal account, I’d probably choose a free option, but at this point I’ve come up with a system with Hootsuite that really helps me do my work more effectively and efficiently,” she explains. “For example, I can quickly switch between four different Twitter accounts, and in each I have columns through which I monitor important keywords, and columns that I use for private lists of people I want to keep an eye on for a client’s industry.”

How to get it cheaper: Hootsuite’s free option may not have all the bells and whistles that some users want but it includes message scheduling, unlimited apps and up to five social profiles. Tweetdeck is another popular free option that allows user to manage multiple Twitter accounts and schedule tweets.

LinkedIn.com

A premium membership ($7.95 a month and up) on the social network for professionals allows journalists to send InMails (LinkedIn messages) to hard-to-reach sources and perform advanced search functions not available to those with a basic membership. Syracuse, N.Y.-based freelance journalist Gina Roberts-Grey upgraded her LinkedIn membership a few years ago because she was curious about who was viewing her profile, information that’s restricted for free users. After a few months, though, she decided to downgrade back to the basic membership.

“I’ve just found that there’s so many ways to connect with people, I feel over-saturated with social media,” adds Roberts-Grey, adding that she does occasionally reach out to other users on LinkedIn but sends a connection request rather than an InMail. “I would just send them a message and try to link to them. I never really reached out to somebody who didn’t connect or respond.”

How to get it cheaper: Join the LinkedIn for Journalists group and sit through a 30-minute phone training session to get a free, year-long Executive LinkedIn subscription (normally $99.95 per month), which includes features like InMails and more detail on who’s viewed your profile. You can renew your subscription for another year by doing another training session.

Freshbooks

Invoicing is an important (if tedious) part of freelancing. Some freelancers use a basic template in Word or Excel but others, like New Jersey-based freelance writer, editor and coach Steph Auteri, prefer services like Freshbooks that generate a more polished invoice and offer other tracking features. Auteri has been using Freshbooks since 2008 and pays $19.95 a month to manage up to 25 clients. “It’s nice to have a professional-looking standard invoice,” she says. “I started using it just for invoicing at first and it was a good way to keep track of who I’d been paid by and who was still outstanding. I generate reports through it when tax time comes.”

Auteri also likes the ability to access Freshbooks from anywhere; for instance, a client’s office if she’s working on-site. Her clients generally pay by check but for those who accept payment via PayPal, Freshbooks has an option where users can pay a flat PayPal fee of $.50 per transaction rather than a percentage of the transaction.

How to get it cheaper: Freshbooks offers a free version but it only allows for managing up to three clients at a time. AvantGuild members can get $20 off any paid Freshbooks subscription.

What you can live without

Two subscription services that are conspicuously missing from this list: ProQuest and LexisNexis. Freelancers told us repeatedly that those research tools were beyond their budget, even with discounts through organizations like ASJA or Mediabistro.com. An individual buying a year’s access to LexisNexis at the bronze level can expect to pay around $141 a month, while members of Mediabistro’s AvantGuild program pay $59 a month. Instead, they found workarounds such as gaining access through a university library where they teach or using a spouse’s login.

Of course, it’s important to consider not just the sticker price of a subscription but also the potential value in terms of productivity and efficiency. As Sylvester points out of her Hootsuite subscription, “considering what I charge to manage my clients’ accounts and the price of my sanity that fee more than pays for itself every month.”

 

Embedding journalism everywhere: 5 reporters rewriting the career path

If the web makes everyone a publisher, doesn’t everyone need journalism? That’s the proposal that media pundit Jeff Jarvis made in April, toying with the idea of embedding journalists, and especially the processes and values of journalism, in organizations that traditionally have had little reason to associate with the rituals and codes of the newsroom. Jarvis’ point: journalists are the best at adding context, finding missing information and presenting accurate and compelling stories. As more companies, governments, police departments, NGOs and universities use the web to disseminate information directly to an audience, the idea doesn’t seem so crazy.

We set out to find some examples of this embedded journalism and came up with five reporters who have left the newsroom not for PR gigs or to write a book but to practice their craft in a very different way. Their profiles are below but here’s what we learned in the process:

  • Tech startups are big believers in embedded journalism.
  • Embedding favors journalists who can use their editorial savvy in conjunction with algorithms, datasets and business teams. That means curation, data journalism and building content relationships.
  • This is happening right now. All of our examples left the newsroom for their current employers in the last year or so.
  • Anyone thinking of making the leap should be prepared for a very different culture than that of the newsroom (duh!).

Dan Roth (@danroth), Executive Editor, LinkedIn

Roth joined LinkedIn last summer after stints as managing editor at Fortune.com and writing for Wired and Portfolio. He now runs LinkedIn Today, a news feed that delivers industry headlines tailored to users’ information and preferences. “It’s based on an algorithm, and I’m bringing some human editing to the entire experience,” Roth told Fast Company last year. “I used to be editor of Fortune Digital, and I realized we put up articles and just hoped the right people found them. At LinkedIn, we want to take the hope out of it.” Roth also collaborates with the company’s data scientists. 

Mark Luckie (@marksluckie), Creative Content Manager for Journalism and the Media, Twitter

Formerly social media editor at The Washington Post, Luckie joined Twitter in June and coordinates with journalists and news organizations on how they can best use the platform. He also collects insights on the tools reporters need for the future. “We are doing rolling analysis of how people are interacting with tweets, and we continue to post those sorts of things on the Twitter for Newsrooms page,” he says. In October Luckie will also present a series of free webinars on Twitter for Journalists in partnership with the National Press Foundation. Luckie says of the transition from WaPo to Twitter, “Being in a place where I get to step back and think and be innovative is quite a change for me. I’m still doing what I’ve been doing for news, which is monitoring what journalists are doing on social media.”

Liz Lufkin (@LLufkin), Chief Content Officer, Trapit

Lufkin was in charge of front page programming at Yahoo! before joining this content discovery site in April. The former USA Today editor now helps Trapit build partnerships with publishers and manages the company’s curation team. The team focuses on building topic-based traps that give users a broader view of how news stories develop than the traditional model, says Lufkin. “The story arc is a lot longer than I as a mainstream traditional journalist initially imagined it,” she says. “In a lot of cases, the conversation starts earlier and it goes on longer, and I find that really fascinating.” Her advice to journalists making the transition from newsroom to tech company is be prepared to justify practices you may have taken for granted. “At newspapers, the separation of church and state is sacred, but in tech companies, they’ll say ‘Why is that?’”

Liv Buli (@lbuli), Music Data Journalist, Next Big Sound

Buli was a reporter for The Local East Village and an editorial intern at Newsweek before taking her data journalism skills to Next Big Sound, which provides intelligence to the music industry. Buli has used the company’s vast trove of data to create stories on the fastest-growing artists at Bonaroo and the spike in interest about Taylor Swift after the singer’s live web chat. “With a wealth of data concerning artists at my fingertips, I am able to put together articles on trends within the industry, festivals, up-and-coming artists and more that can be of interest and value to anyone working with music,” she says, adding that her employer’s combination of data from social networks and sales figures gives her more insight than she would traditionally have had as a music journalist. Although Buli misses bouncing around ideas and pitching during weekly editorial meetings, she says, “My colleagues are a great source of feedback for me and often introduce to me to new great ideas through what they have seen in the data.”

Mark Armstrong (@markarms), Editorial Director, Pocket

Armstrong joined Pocket (then called Read It Later) last fall after discussions with CEO and founder Nate Weiner about how publishers might use the platform, which provides a handy way for people to save articles and other media for later consumption. Armstrong’s credentials: he founded Longreads, was news director at People.com and the New York bureau chief at E! Online. Armstrong has been using his editorial knowhow to suss out trends from Pocket’s data that show how different users consume content differently. “We’ve done a number of Pocket Trends reports highlighting how saving [media] for later can affect the types of content we consume,” he says. (Two examples highlight the most-read authors and the popularity of video on the platform.) Working at a tech startup has also given Armstrong the chance to contribute to business development, which doesn’t usually happen in traditional news organizations. “Everyone needs to be thinking about how to grow the business, so you are in a much better position to hear the challenges of what needs to happen.”

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